Battle of the camera flagships
The Huawei Mate 9 and the iPhone 7 – 2 premium smartphones with dual cameras.Both are flagships having OIS and a 12mpx main camera. The huawei mate 9 also got a 20mpx monochrome
camera to improve the image quality of the colored pictures. The front camera of the mate 9 features an 8MP sensor and F1.9 aperture. While the iphone comes with only 7-megapixels with an aperture of f/2.2
Selfies, Selfies, Selfies…
Enough numbers, let’s see which of them is better. First of all the front camera and to be honest, we dont have to discuss here. the mate 9 clearly wins. Its way more wideange, has more details in the picture, has more natural colors and catches more light. Also the pictures are sharper and have way more details. The dynamic range is a bit better on the mate 9 and also there is less noise in low light conditions. I’ve tested almost all iPhones, but the front facing camera could never impress, just like with all the macbooks and their 720p webcam.
Here are 2 camera samples:
Both front facing cameras can record with 1080p max, but here also the mate 9 takes the crown. In terms of audio quality, the iphone 7 had a more balanced sound, but the quality in general was way better on the mate 9. I think they could improve it that the 4 mics could work better together (already a bit better with the new update) but the unedited audio did sound a tick more clear on the mate 9.
Dual camera comparison
Now it gets more interesting. Here comes the rear camera. The two phones take the same approach to image stabilization, a critical aspect of video quality. Both use an optical approach that physically moves lens elements to counteract the camera motion caused by shaky hands or movement when you’re walking. To be honest, video stabilization looked smoother on the iphone 7, the mate 9 was only kinda smooth when i activated digital stabiliation in the settings too, but it looks like it would only work at 1080p.
Now lets talk about exposure, i think that the iphone 7 videos at times were overexposed, also on iPhone photos. The mate 9 handles exposure better for my taste, when its dark it was so-so, sometimes the iphone 7 struggled sometimes the mate9. The iPhone generally selected more warm tones. In good lighting conditions both cameras are great, but I found the mate 9 colors are more my taste and look more colortrue, but its really hard to tell. Both cameras deliver great looking images when there is enough light. The dynamic range looked for me better on the mate 9 aswell.
Regarding shaprness. Here the iPhone won, perhaps a result of its six-element lens design or better image processing technology. Especially when you zoom in,
the edges and objects on the iPhone were crisp without appearing over sharpened. Both cameras suffered from lens flare, the streaked and washed-out areas that result from shooting toward the sun or other bright light sources. In low light, the iphone did win again, more details, less noise more sharpness. But the colors on the mate 9 looked better for my taste, but nothing wat a bit of editing on the iphone 7 wouldnt solve.
Now 4K Recording. For this higher-resolution format, the iphone 7 looked already great, but the mate9 outdid it sometimes when it comes to sharpness and color reproduction. And why bother shooting 4K video if you’re not paying attention to sharpness? Again, the iPhone’s optical image stabilization was more natural and better stabilized, also faster palyback because my pc had issues with the new h.265 codec which huawei is using for their movies. I think both smartphones have great cameras, but the front camera on the iphone is so poor compared to other smartphones on the market. The rear cameras are quite similar, but in terms of sharpness and detailed images the iphone just nails it. Regarding videos they are both on a top level, i just wish that hauwei could improve the stabilization and also the post processing to get more details in there pictures. Lets see if they can do it.
Here is my detailed video review of both cameras. Enjoy.